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Bail advice brochure
Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)
2011

This is a document in the Know Your Rights series

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About this pamphlet

This pamphlet is for people who have been arrested, their relatives and general public, so that they can understand better how the police and courts function when someone is arrested.

The pamphlet is on bail, that is money deposited with the state by an arrested person so that he/she can be out of prison while awaiting trial. The pamphlet gives information on why bail is granted, by who, where, under what conditions and what happens if the bail conditions are broken by the accused.

What is bail?

Bail is money deposited with the state by a person charged with committing a crime. The money is deposited so that the person can be released from the police cells or the prison while he is waiting for his trial. The money is a guarantee that he will return for the trial, and if he does, he gets the money back.

Bail is not a fine

A fine is a punishment paid for committing a crime when a person admits he is guilty or is found guilty by a court. A fine is paid into state revenues.

Bail money is just a guarantee by a person who has not yet been tried, that he will come for his trial. If the accused comes for the trial, he gets the money back, whether or not the court finds him guilty. If he does not come back, the magistrate may decide that the money should be forfeited and it then goes to state revenue.

When can someone be released on bail?

At any time after he or she has been charged with a crime at the police station, before the trial begins, or even after it is already in progress. Even if someone has been found guilty, he can ask for bail while he is waiting for his appeal.

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